People Power Party (PPP)'s Choo Kyung-ho, right, Democratic Party of Korea (DPK)'s Park Chan-dae, left, and Speaker of the National Assembly of Korea Woo Won-shik leave the podium after speaking to each other at the National Assembly in Yeongdeungpo District, Seoul, July 3. Yonhap

The main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) on Wednesday tabled a contentious bill mandating a special counsel investigation into the military’s response to a Marine’s death last year, prompting the ruling party to launch a filibuster in protest.

During a plenary meeting that convened belatedly due to the rival parties’ bickering, National Assembly Speaker Woo Won-shik announced the decision to accept the DPK’s request to table the bill before an interpellation session.

Lawmakers of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) strongly opposed the bill and launched a filibuster.

The DPK had originally planned to table the special probe bill Tuesday, but was unable to do so as the plenary meeting was disrupted after DPK Rep. 합법 Kim Byung-joo called PPP lawmakers “deranged” for using the term “Korea-U.S.-Japan alliance” in a party commentary, drawing strong protest from PPP lawmakers.

The special probe bill calls for a special counsel to look into allegations that the presidential office and the defense ministry inappropriately interfered in the Marines’ investigation into the death of Cpl. Chae Su-geun, killed during a search mission for victims of heavy downpours in July 2023.

The DPK-led bill had initially passed through the previous National Assembly but was voted down in a revote after President Yoon Suk Yeol vetoed it. The DPK proposed it again after the new National Assembly came into office in late May.

A filibuster involves lawmakers holding the floor for extended periods as a way to prevent a parliamentary vote or delay the passage of a bill.

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